Kamran Akmal: Is he really worth it?

Published: July 15, 2012

Kamran’s batting is not as questionable as his shoddy wicket-keeping skills. PHOTO: REUTERS

Kamran Akmal, who has been out of favour since 2011, is all set to make a comeback to the Pakistani team after having being named in the 30 man squad for the September’s World Twenty20.

We have often heard people state many reasons for why he should be back which is mainly due to his batting abilities. People in favour of selecting him state that he can provide the required oomph to our batting in shorter formats; that Kamran, on numerous occasions, has saved Pakistan with his batting heroics and that he has been scoring consistently in the domestic circuit since his drop in 2011. Some cricket fans are also of the view that he can make the side purely as a batsman specially in the T20s, without taking into consideration how good or bad he will be without the gloves of a wicket-keeper.

Kamran’s batting is not as questionable as his shoddy wicket-keeping skills. The question is, has he tried improving his skills after being previously dropped for the very reason of his poor wicket-keeping?

Many of his fans like to bring up the point that he has taken many successful catches and is right up there with the very best when it comes to the number of dismissals, but that does not make up for the number of catches he has dropped and the number of run outs he has missed.

After all, there is a reason behind the nickname of ‘Butter Fingers” being attached to his name.

It all started in England in 2006 and the line up of appalling performances has continued ever since.

Throughout his career, Kamran has struggled with the gloves, apart from the early years of his cricket career when he was considered by many as a really good player, and rightly so. Kamran has not faced difficulty in a particular condition or to any particular type of bowling; he has struggled in all conditions and against all types of bowlers. With him it’s not just about the technicalities; had it been a technical problem, he would have surely overcome it by now, but it has been almost five years and no improvements have been seen so far.

When a keeper doesn’t do well, unlike batsmen or bowlers, it doesn’t only reflect badly on himself but it also has a damning effect on the bowler for whom he drops a catch for and it implicates the whole team; The 2010 World Cup match against New Zealand is one of many instances where such dismal performance by Kamran Akmal was at display.

Kamran’s wicket-keeping has been dismal even against spin bowlers. This is ironic as this style is our strength these days with bowlers like Afridi, Ajmal and Hafeez.

With the World T20 being held in Sri Lanka, spin will play a very important role. It is anticipated that spin bowlers will be used as a strong force against opposing teams. Pakistan cannot afford to have a keeper who has a history of missing chances, that too the very easy ones against spinners.

So here is the big question, can we afford to neutralise our strength (spin bowling) just for the sake of few quick runs at the top of the order?

Will this be a wise move for the team?

Is Kamran Akmal worth all the risk?

Asim Abbas

Asim Abbas

Is a team lead in the Technical Support Department of Mycroburst.com/LogoDesignGuru.com, a crowd sourcing site/business related to graphic designing. Based in Karachi, he is an avid cricket fan and has been following the sport for almost 18 years.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/iQuoteWhateverr toobahatif

    Noo he shouldnt be.. He got away with that fixing scandal God knows how.. let him be away.. let us explore other options.. I think we’ll be better off without him being in the teamRecommend

  • Faraz

    Waiting anxiously for Imaran Nazir no matter who becomes the wicket keeper but in my opinion Sarfaraz,Kamran and Shakeel Ansar all are same when it comes to Wicket Keeping job so better go with the good batsman among these three…… Recommend

  • Adnan

    Kamran’s wicket-keeping has been dismal even against spin bowlers – You say this as if its easier to keep while facing spinners instead of pace men? Keeping for spinners needs much more skill, specially in Pakistan’s case where keepers have to read Ajmal, Afridi, Hafeez and Rehman’s variations which many top flight batsmen are unable to interpret. Recommend

  • Nauman Hassan

    I’m sure that Umar Akmal will keep the wickets if Kamran Akmal doesn’t feature in the squad.

    I believe that the shorter version of the game can help Kamran in the sense that there are less overs to get exposed!

    My team for T 20 WC (16 man squad in batting order):

    Imran Nazir
    Ahmad Shehzad
    Umar Akmal
    Mohammad Hafeez
    Shoaib Malik
    Kamran Akmal
    Abdul Razzaq
    Shahid Afridi
    Umar Gul
    Junaid Khan/Sohail Tanvir
    Saeed Ajmal

    Reserve: Hammad Azam, Asad Shafiq, Rameez Raja Jr., Abdul RehmanRecommend

  • Fake

    Sarfaraz and Shakeel Ansar did a good job in Sri Lanka. What else do people want? As far as Kamran Akmal is concerned play him as batsmen if we seriously have batting troubles.Recommend

  • S

    Bye bye T20 Cup! -_-Recommend

  • Adnan

    @Fake: Agreed about Sarfaraz but Shakeel did well? Are you kidding me? He was worse than AkmalRecommend

  • https://twitter.com/#!/PakCricFanatic PakCricFanatic

    Thats what specialist wicket keepers are for, right? @Adnan: Recommend

  • https://twitter.com/#!/PakCricFanatic PakCricFanatic

    Too early to be judging Shakeel, of all the keepers that have been given chances Adnan has proven that he is by far the best, but his batting isn’t suited to shorter formats.Recommend

  • http://USA GreenOval

    Big NO! Kamran carries a big baggage of suspicion (his association and friendship with the bookies), groupings and dirty politics. We have lost Asif and Aamir due to their stupidity and Pakistan cricket is doing alright without them, we can add Kamran Akmal to that list as well.Recommend

  • Nauman Hassan

    Look, one thing is clear. If Kamran Akmal is picked, he’ll keep too. If that doesn’t happen then Umar Akmal will do the job. Its very doubtful that Sarfaraz or any other keeper is selected.

    I agree that Kamran carries a baggage of suspicion, but I’ll still pick him up to strengthen the late order (Pakistan has a very unskillful tail). I am still not sure about the explosive nature of Sarfaraz or Shakeel.

    I don’t remember Shakeel doing anything noticeable. Sarfaraz picked up a MOM but he doesn’t possess the talent of six hitting at will (something like Moin, Kamran or Razzaq).

    I’ll pick Kamran in T20 as he’ll provide the depth and hopefully will not get exposed in 20 overs.Recommend

  • http://twitter.com/asad84 AA

    Behind every successful batsmen in the world (except Pakistan), there is a hand of one man and that man is ‘Kamran Akmal’Recommend

  • Tariq

    Simple answer:
    as a wicket keeper, NO,
    as a batsmen, MAYBE,
    as a sportsmen, NO, due to his name appearing in fixing allegations.

    So overall, that’s a no.Recommend

  • http://USA GreenOval

    But, unfortunately those hands of Akmal have butter fingers.Recommend

  • Junaidy

    very well said..
    i think sarfaraz, or shakeel ansar were better than him.. Recommend

  • https://twitter.com/#!/PakCricFanatic PakCricFanatic

    Thanks :) @Junaidy: Recommend

  • Asad Hasan

    The T-20 team is a yesteryears team. With so many closet spiders, two things are clear – the old gang is back; little chance of doing well in the tournament. Look at the specs of some players and the trend and ganging becomes clear:

    A. Razzak – 32 years – what is he doing in a T-20 team.
    K. Akmal – where is PCB’s stated policy for zero tolerance towards any suspicious activities – ICC clearance notwithstanding.
    I. Nazir – almost 31 – his days are over, and his selection is keeping out other talented openers such as A. Shahzad.
    Y. Arafat – 30 years old – medium pacer – What about Jamshed Khan – 23 years; most promising bowler in years – can’t say we need experience in T-20 cricket, we need youth, exuberance, talent.

    I rest my case.Recommend

  • Usman

    But we have seen dropping catches to Sarfraz, Shakeel, and Adnan. So far, there is not alternate of Kamran Akmal. Did we find his alternative since the last couple of years? Is it not worth it to PCB?Recommend

  • https://twitter.com/#!/PakCricFanatic PakCricFanatic

    They are all young and haven’t been dropping catches like Kamran for the last 4-6 years. Adnan was brilliant against SL and has improved with every series.Recommend

  • https://twitter.com/CelmanEhmad celman

    He’s the worst keeper to have lost as many matches by dropping catches, but unfortunately in Twenty20 matches he has highest dismissals.. Let see :p